the Small Stuff!
A race-day checklist.
Download it for printing
During my first tri season
I spent a lot of time learning from the experiences of others. Some of those
experiences were good others were bad but they all were good for my training
I usually arrive early at
races to be able to relax and acclimate to the atmosphere. Arriving early
also gives me the chance to watch how others prepare for the race. At a
race late in the tri season back when I first started doing tris, I, of
course, arrived early to see a woman in obvious panic. She was complaining
that she forgot the front wheel of her bike in her hotel room. In the rush
of getting race ready, she forgot that small, put important, piece of
ITíS ALL ABOUT THE SMALL
I am amazed we spend so
much time and effort to train for a specific event or events, but give
little or no thought to what we need for race day. If we donít pre-plan we
set ourselves up for failure on race day.
Over the last several
years what has worked for me is creating a checklist. Although the checklist
is burned into my mind, I still use a hard copy to ensure I have everything
that I need.
HOW TO BE PREPARED
Traveling to the Event Ė
If youíre flying to an
event donít forget to take care of your bike. Are you going to pack it?
Are you going to overnight it? These are questions you should answer
before you buy your ticket! You can pick up a
bike travel case.
Make sure your bike is properly packed and be confident that you can put
your bike back together and do any minor tuning needed. If youíre not a
bike guru, contact the race director and ask for the resident bike shop.
You can arrange to send your bike to the shop, have them assemble it.
Remember you also need to get your bike to the race site. Make sure you
arrange for transporting your bike to and fro.
On the Go Ė
Itís not just enough to pack clean underwear, tri suit and
running shoes. Triathlons are heavy gadget sports. So when you travel make
sure that you have all the accessories you need to go with each discipline
as well as for the entire race event. One week before I am scheduled to
depart, I go through my checklist and determine if there is anything that
I donít have that needs to be purchased. Things like tubes, tires, gels,
sunscreen, anti-fog solution and the list goes on. By doing this in
advance, you can alleviate the last minute panic of rushing around and
trying to find an item the day before you leave.
At the Event
before the Race:
The night before the race when I am in my hotel room, I place a towel on
the floor and lie out my transition and walk though my race morning
routine. I walk through everything that Iím going to do during the race ó
every piece of equipment I will use, food I will eat, gadget I need,
equipment I carry ó and lay it out so that I will not be looking for it
the next morning. Anything that needs packing gets packed. If it is needs
to be at the race with me gets placed next to the door with my bike.
Different races will
require more or less of the checklist. As you become a more experienced
triathlete the hard copy of list may unnecessary. Adapt the list for
yourself and make it work for you.
To some, it might be
over-planning, but for the poor soul standing in the middle of the
transition area before a race shouting, ďDoes anybody have an extra pair of
goggles?Ē itís well worth that extra bit of effort. It is commonly heard in
the sports world that the best offense is a good defense. Take the time to
prepare for race day and you wonít regret it!
The following is the
checklist I run through the night before I leave for an event:
Download it for printing
Goggles clear or dark lenses/anti-fog solution
Lubricant if you are using a wetsuit (Be sure that the lube you choose is
safe to use with your suit.)
Make sure that bike is working properly
Wheels and tires - be sure spokes are ok and you are running correct tire
Water bottles w/ preferred drink
Energy source - either gel packs or flask
Spare tube and CO2 cartridge
Race shoes with some type of speed laces, if you prefer.
Cap or Visor - and donít bring a black one
Race number pins or race belts
Drinks or gels for the run
Extra water bottle
A way to mark your place in the transition area
[ ] Jacket - weather could
[ ] Energy bar(s)
[ ] Safety pins if you
loose yours for race number
[ ] Sandals
[ ] Clothing to change
into after you finish your race
Before race day:
[ ] Warm-up bottoms and
[ ] Hat
[ ] Electrical tape to
mark bike etc. and duct tape - great for emergency repairs
[ ] Passport (ID), Drivers
License, credit card, cash
[ ] Plane Ticket if you
have to fly
USAT membership card
[ ] Relaxing Reading or
magazine for the plane ride or if you are riding with others. I also like
to carry an MP3 player or a CD player with me to listen to music before the
When Big Boys Tri 2004